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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Music Faculty Send Their Love with ‘Valentine Serenade’

By Gerald Carpenter, Noozhawk Contributing Writer |

The UCSB music faculty’s annual Valentine to us, “Hearts for the Arts — A Valentine Serenade,” has a scheduled delivery at 7 p.m. Saturday in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St.

Jacob Braun
Jacob Braun

The concert is co-sponsored by the UCSB Music Affiliates and the UCSB Department of Music, with all proceeds benefiting the Music Affiliates Student Scholarship Fund.

The program will consist of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Duo for Viola and Cello in Eb-Major, WoO 32 (With Two Eyeglasses Obbligato) with cellist Jacob Braun, the UCSB music faculty’s new kid on the block, and violist Helen Callus, followed by several numbers from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (“Summertime,” “Bess, You is My Woman Now” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”), played by Callus and pianist Robert Koenig. Then, Koenig will back the incomparable flautist Jill Felber in a performance of Ian Clarke’s Orange Dawn.

The first half will conclude with two movements from Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Opus 13 performed by UCSB’s graduate scholarship ensemble, the Young Artists String Quartet (Tom Yaron and Marie Hebert on violins, Angela Miller on viola and Larissa Fedoryka on cello).

After the intermission, pianist Paul Berkowitz will play Franz Schubert’s Impromptu in Bb-Major, D935, Opus 142, No. 3 with Berkowitz. Tenor Benjamin Brecher and Felber will perform John Corigliano’s Three Irish Folksong Settings (“The Salley Gardens,” “The Foggy Dew,” “She Moved through the Fair”), and Braun and Koenig will conclude the concert with Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for Cello and Piano, Opus 70 and Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango.

Any program containing works by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann is bound to have a goodly portion of romantic charm, especially in the hands of these musicians. The Beethoven Duo is a delight, as I have found all of the composer’s “WoO” (“Works without Opus numbers) compositions to be. Clarke (born in 1964) is a British flautist and composer whose works are steadily gaining wider popularity.

Orange Dawn is a delicately filagreed nature painting, mainly meditative, with side trips into agitation and longing.

Corigliano (born in 1938) is among the best known, and most accomplished, of contemporary American composers. His father, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 23 years, did his best to discourage his son from writing music, encouraging him to get a real job. Mainly an orchestral composer, the Irish song settings, dating from 1988, are a rare and welcome excursion into intimate music. The Schumann is timely for me, since I am in the midst of a major re-evaluation of the composer via my vinyl collection. The lovely Adagio and Allegro was written, appropriately enough, Feb. 14-17, 1849.

Admission for Saturday’s concert is $25 for general, $10 for students and $50 for patron (includes preferred seating and reception after), and “The Sweetheart Deal” for $90 per patron couple (includes preferred seating and reception after). Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 805.893.7001.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

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